Feeling overwhelmed, there is only me

Hello all, I'm new here, I joined after speaking with Macmillan on the phone, my father has bladder cancer and is into his third year, there is only myself and my dad , I look after him and also have care workers coming in during the day when I'm at work full-time, I also have 15 year old daughter ! I am feeling very overwhelmed with life and doing things all on my own my dad's elderly brothers live in Scotland and aren't able to help , but do call him . Feeling scared and extremely tired and all on my own , my work has suffered , but are being amazing however it still causing me to be anxious I will lose my job . My daughter is going through her own issues and taking her GCSEs currently, and us distant understandable, I feel I've not been there enough for her. Just wanted to join a group with others that may be going through the same  Vee

  • HI Vee

    a warm welcome to you.  So sorry to hear about all that you are going through. It's a tough gig being the carer, especially when  you are tackling it all largely on your own.

    This group is full of folk who "get it" so I'm pretty sure some of them will be along shortly to add their words of wisdom here. They're a really supportive bunch.

    I'm supporting my husband through his journey (stage 4 brain tumour) so I can relate to the emotions you are experiencing. Trust me, they are all normal reactions. You're going through a journey here too and three years is a long time to be coping with it so please don't be too hard on yourself here. I'm sure you're doing a great job.

    With my work/team manager head on, please make sure you let your boss know how you are feeling as there may be additional support they can offer you. My employer has been fantastic with me but I appreciate that not everyone is so lucky. A supportive boss can make a world of difference.

    I hope your daughter gets on OK with her GCSE's. Exams are such a stressful time without everything else going on. My own daughter is just finishing her university degree and I know its been a challenge to focus to get it all done. Kids are more resilient than we give them credit for so I'm sure she'll reach out if she needs you. Sometimes teenage girls just need a wee bit of space.

    For now, I'm sending you a huge virtual hug. Stay strong. Stay positive. Remember to breathe. And remember you're not alone. We're all here anytime you need to reach out.

    love n hugs

    Wee Me xx

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm

  • Thank you so much for your kind words, it is hard for us all , it's comforting to know I'm not on my own, X 

  • Hi Vee

    I feel the same. I started to looking after my Uncle 2 years ago after he had Whipples surgery for Pancreatic cancer. He lives with me and I also am trying to hold down my job and keep my family going. 
    There are days when I feel I am coping and days when I feel completely overwhelmed. 

    I feel a lot of guilt. Guilt for not being able to give my son the care and support he needs as he tries to navigate college and life, and guilt for not having the energy to do more with my Uncle to allow him to enjoy the world outside the house.

    I have really kind managers at work who are understanding but I am worried that I will get a wage cut as my Uncle’s care becomes more demanding. I have no idea what help I can get either.

    It’s a truly tough gig. So I’m sending my support to you too, from one lone carer to another. 


  • Hello Gemmi, sorry to hear this it's something we just can't ever think of planning isn't it? Everything seems so hard as it's all rushed if you anything like me I feel like I'm not doing it all fully just try to get through with the hours in the day, I am lucky in a way as my dad still lives on his own and when he came out of hospital they helped me put his care in place so he has carers coming in when I'm at work, I to worry what will happen when things progress as dad is into his 3 rd year, but time will tell, my boss has been good to but I've had so much time off I fear fir the future, stay strong and take care of you as without you they have no you , sending big hug X thank you for replying to me Vee

    • Hi Vee, I know how you feel. My mum was diagnosed with endometrial cancer which spread. She's had surgery and she's currently waiting to heal before she starts chemo, I'm an only child so everything is on my and I'm a fierce protector but a chronic worrier. My fiancé and I were in the middle of preparing for IVF which has now been postpone. He helps me and he completely understands my mindset as his mother has survived cancer twice but him and his siblings were shelided from having to look after a parent since their father cared for their mother. It's a different kettle of fish when your helping your patent with basic needs and advocating for their treatment. 

    I read a random blog about only child adult carers and one thing wich stood put was that you have to take it literally o e day at a time, manage your expansions, celebrate every win and process everRolling eyesset back otherwise you'll drive yourself crazy (hence why I'm on this forum at 12.30 when I have yo start work early Rolling eyes. I'd also add to those words of wisdom by saying listen to your fsthers needs, be patient with him but it's fine if you can't always be patient as we're only human, advocate for him all the time especially with the NHS as some depatements/wards/GPs have no clue about continued care, write down notes for each merting or phone call (I use an automatic phone call recording app, a demo reach out to Macmillan hospital teams. Ours has been invaluable to us, i could honestly kiss them all because they've hoped more than I can describe. Even this website and all the available resources have been a god send. 

    Please know you are not alone, reach out if you need to chat or just want someone to listen xx

  • Sorry that you find yourself in this situation. I too am an only child from a very small family. Impossible to share the load! I do my best with all of my hats on, whether it’s supporting my parent, in my role at work, or in my home life. But what I also try to do, is have a little bit of time for me. And, as I get older and hear of friends who find themselves on the cancer journey, it becomes clearer to me that time is so important. I am looking at the bigger picture of my life to try and get more time for me and my parent. My situation sounds different to yours but I do think self care is key when trying to care for others x

  • Thank you for your kind words, yes swooping hats all of the time for me is draining, I never feel like I ever fullfil each role fully. I have good days and bad days and it never seems to be stable, my bosses let me have a couple of weeks off to try to have time to catch up a bit and relax , so I'm feeling slightly more upbeat.  I hope you are well and coping as well as can be.

  • hi  i feel the same as you i m an only child my wonderful mum is 85 and fighting stage 3c ovarian cancer - which recent blood tests have shown is now progressing again - surgery not an option any more - i m there every day but have work and family - i can only say overwelmed and scared  are you? xx

  • Hello there, yes scared I am , thinking all sorts of things, but trying my hardest to remain upbeat for my dad and daughter, sad times ahead but we have now to share the good times with them , sending you a big hug x

  • Hi Vee, I can relate to your situation.  I'm an only child looking after my mum who has Stage 4 breast cancer and today is a good day thankfully after many really tough days.  The news from her CT scan was positive in that the cancer which is in the bones has responded to the treatment to slow it down and it hasn't got worse.  It's amazing to hear so why am I so confused about how I feel??? I feel like I have been preparing myself to handle only bad news for the past 6 months that I'm thinking "this is positive, but what will come next?"  I'm feeling so confused and guilty.  I too have a teenager and a 10 year old both dealing with exams and they lost my father-in-law 6 months ago.  I'm asking myself do we allow ourselves to live a little bit more for now or is this all going to come crashing down again?